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Saturday, June 30, 2007
A quiet journalist with a world outlook
Bill Porter writes:

Tom Gillespie was born In the shipbuilding town of Greenock on the River Clyde in Scotland. He was due to inherit a whisky business, but instead became a journalist. Some may make a link between the two activities, but Tom was a lifelong teetotaller The Second World War found him in the United States at a time of widespread Industrial strife, He decided to set up a News Agency which would carry news of industrial teamwork and dispute solved)and so heighten the morale of the workers in the factories and the public and soldiers who depended on them. The agency was called the International Labor News Service (ILNS) and went to trade union magazines and labour news columns across the USA and to many nations.

After the War he became a reporter of the world work of the NGO of Moral Re—Armament (now Initiatives of Change) and travelled widely In the European coalfields and the docks of the great ports, always seeking to find the news of solutions to disputes and the answer to unfair situations. He was a friend of the workers, but he also knew how to get the employers on side to ‘tackle the problems together with the trade union leaders,

Later Tom married Lizzie, a childhood sweetheart, and they moved to live in Australia, Although rather restricted in his later years, he carried on an immense correspondence with his friends and many contacts in the media and kept them abreast of his constructive vision for the role of journalists. From his retirement home base he was a great supporter of the International Communications Forum and kept his wide circle of contacts informed about its work. Tom always had a great sense of humour and was a convincing reciter of Scottish comic verse. So Tom, we’ll drink in the purest Highland water, to the life of a great foot soldier in the ranks of journalism.